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A Comparative Analysis On Murder And Culpable Homicide

Murder and Culpable homicide appear to be similar to each other, but they are not synonymous. If Section 299 of IPC defines the Culpable homicide and Section 300 of IPC deals with the concept of murder. These terms always growl to those who begin to learn these concepts. The main difference is that murder is intended to cause enough physical harm to kill one person. In the case of a culpable homicide, the act is intended to cause physical harm that is very likely to result in death. The difference lies in the possibility of death in both cases when both the murder and the culpable homicide are committed with the intent to hurt a person.

This concept is opaque and causes great confusion in India. This study aims to make a clear distinction between them. There are many similarities in both murder and culpable homicide terms, but when it comes to determining the extent of the likelihood of death from the perpetrator's actions, and secondly, such seriousness with respect to, they behave very differently.

Section 299 and Section 300 of IPC deal with the concept of culpable homicide and murder respectively, both of these means harming a person, but there are certain things that distinguish between murder and culpable homicide. Therefore, the problem here arises that both murder and culpable homicide are concepts related to injuring a person, but the difference is determined based on the end result of a particular act. Section 302 of the IPC deals with murder penalties when a murder conviction is punished by the death penalty or life imprisonment, and is also fined. Murder is a recognizable crime and cannot be remedied. And section 304 of the IPC states that punishment for a culpable homicide is not a murder.

Convicted murders can be sentenced to life imprisonment or 10 years in prison and fines. Culpable homicide is also a cognizable offence and a non-bailable offence. Murder and culpable homicide can be distinguished in certain respects.

There are also certain components that suggest that the actions of a person or suspect constitute both murder and culpable homicide that does not amounts to murder. Common ingredients are mens rea and actus reus, where the person would have harmed someone through certain actions. As discussed above, the difference is in knowing the consequences of what he or she does.

This study is descriptive and conclusive. The survey was conducted on secondary sources of data books, articles, journals, resources, theories, and provisions related to strong case law.


"Murder", the term goes back to the Germanic word "morth" which means "secret murder". Murder means that one person is maliciously or foresighted killed another with the intention. It can also be described as a serious offence as compared to culpable homicide. In addition, a crime is not considered a murder unless it includes a crime that falls under the definition of murder. Broadly speaking, murder is the species in which culpable homicide is the seed.

There are four main elements to murder, which can be explained as the essence of murder. This section describes the core concepts. The intention to cause death, or the intention to cause such death, should cause physical harm to the person. Or, if the intention to cause such death causes physical harm and the physical harm causes death, he caused the person, or the actions he committed could lead to the death of the person. Or you need to have the knowledge that the act he has done is immediately dangerous in all probable sense to cause death or a bodily injury that is likely to cause death of a person.

A crime is designated as murder if the act committed by the person includes: First, the act must have the intent to kill a person. This is known as culpable homicide, which is equivalent to murder, and includes omissions and unlawful act. The act should be done with the clear intention of killing a person. A person's intention should be in a conscious state in which he must have been excited and acted deliberately to kill him.

For example, if one person administers a deadly poison to another person, this action indicates that he or she is trying to kill that person. This allows the practitioner to know exactly the effect of his or her actions. The intent here is related to motive of his thought.

Second, the perpetrator has the knowledge that the intent to cause physical harm can lead to the death of a person-under Section 300 IPC, with the knowledge that such an injury causes the death of a person, intended to cause physical harm, this is a culpable homicide which amounts to murder. Knowing here is not a probability, but he knows that what he does to a person is dangerous and can lead to his death. Therefore, it is the culpable homicide, which amounts to murder.

In a case of Milmadhub Sirchar Vs. R (1885), the deceased was kicked and beaten several times by the perpetrator, including after the victim lost consciousness. In this case, the court ruled that the murderer would have known that repeated beatings and kicks would certainly lead to his death. Therefore, he was charged with murder.

Third, if the perpetrator's actions are intended to cause physical harm, it is, in the usual sense, sufficient to cause the person's death. Subjective factors end with the usual act of acting to kill or hurt a person and fully knowing the cause of enough physical harm to kill the person. No further investigation is needed in this context.

In case, Visra Singh vs. Punjab State (1958), the Supreme Court found that if the criminal could not prove that the act was done accidentally or unintentionally, he would commit a fatal crime. It was presumed that he intended to be a victim of. injury.

Culpable Homicide

Homicide is a term derived from the Latin word "homo", meaning human, and "caedere" means the killing of people. homicide is an act that has been a part of human life since day one. In the past, people killed each other to get food or to create control from jealousy, greed, and so on.

Section 299 of the IPC states that an individual is responsible for an act intended to cause death, or an act intended to cause physical harm most likely or most likely to result in death. Two important elements responsible for culpable homicide related to the cause of death and the commission of actions.

Whoever causes death - This clause also provides a margin of liability for the death of a person who was not intended to die but was caused by the commission of the perpetrator's actions.

By doing an act:
The commission of an act that results in death falls under the ambit of this provision. Death can be caused in a variety of ways, including but not limited to poisoning, starving, striking, drowning or communicating some shocking news etc. Such an act includes illegal omissions. An omission is considered to be illegal if it is an offence and is a breach of law.

With reference to Section 299 of IPC, there are certain important elements of Culpable homicide. They are argued as follows:
The intention of causing death - The intent to kill a person by an act is a fact that involves knowing the act earlier, in a way that shows the willingness or intent to cause such an effect on others.

The intention of causing a bodily injury that likely to cause death -The perpetrator's intention to bring the victim's death to prove that the culpable homicide was directly related to the crime he committed.

The knowledge of the act which is likely to cause death - When you perform an action, it is assumed that the person performing the action is aware of the consequences of that action. However, such perceptions should not be understood as an intention to perform any particular act that constitutes a criminal offense. This is because intention and consciousness are two different concepts.

In the case of Bhagwan Singh v. State of Uttarakhand
The decision was made recently, but the case dates back to 2007. Five were injured, two of whom were shot dead. The furious bench of the Supreme Court consisting C.J.I S.A.
 Bobde, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ said: Increasing incidents due to formal dismissal as it is considered a status symbol. Licensed weapons intended to be used for protection can be very deadly and should not be used at ceremonial events.

According to the evidence collected, the defendant held a gun on the roof of the house, but unfortunately the bullet was deflected and injured. The defendant pleaded not guilty because he did not intend to kill anyone.

The court found that the defendant carried a gun loaded in public and did not take good care of his surroundings. He must have had the idea that a bullet could distract and hurt someone. The court found him guilty. The offense amounted to culpable homicide under Section 299 of IPC, punishable under Section 304 Part 2 of the IPC.

Culpable Homicide And Murder

There is certain mechanism to differentiate the concepts of murder and culpable homicide. The difference is hidden with the terms of seriousness of the intention. In this regard the apex court has held that:
There are a few things to keep in mind when a criminal offense occurs and you decide whether it is a murder or culpable homicide. First, the person investigating the crime must discover that the act was a murder. Next, you need to determine if the breach meets the requirements of Section 300 of IPC. Next, we will investigate whether this crime is a culpable homicide which not amount to murder or a similar crime that requires a murder exception that is, private defense.

Ultimately, after these things are found, as stated in the theory of pigeon holes, crimes fit into a particular hole, limiting penalties for the crime and allowing the criminal to respond to the crime committed. Will be punished accordingly.

The offense committed is inflicted on a person or victim by the perpetrator, and the perpetrator is likely to die if the injury leads to death, or if the injury inflicted on the victim lead him to death in normal and ordinary course of action, is culpable homicide. The difference lies in the strength of the injuries inflicted on the victims. If the victim is found to have suffered multiple injuries, the accused will be sentenced under Section 300 of IPC which is murder.

When a person stabs another person's chest or abdomen with a knife, then it amounts to Prima facie that would amount to Murder. If more than one person intends to harm the person and ensure their death, this law would be equivalent to a murder under Section 300 of the IPC. Similarly, if the perpetrator hit a person's head with a hammer and broke his head bone, it is clear that he tried to murder him. Therefore, it is a probability which determines whether it is Culpable homicide or murder.

Major differences between culpable homicide and murder "All murders are culpable homicide, but not all culpable homicide are murders." This is a very common phrase used to distinguish between culpable homicide and murder. What I have proved earlier is that the culpable homicide is the genus and the murder is the species. The main difference between them is that murder is an exacerbated form of culpable homicide.

In murder there is no presence of ambiguity that the act may or may not kill as it is present in culpable homicide, looking at Section 299 of the IPC where there is clearly mentioned that:
"Act done with the intention of causing death or causing such bodily injury which is LIKELY to cause death or having the knowledge that he can LIKELY by his act can cause death, he'll be committing the offense of culpable homicide".

If you notice the term "LIKELY" appearing multiple times, it indicates that there is an ambiguous element that the defendant's actions may or may not kill the person. In the case of the murder as defined in Article 300 of the IPC, words such as "LIKELY" are not mentioned, indicating that the defendant is no longer ambiguous, but the defendant is for sure that his act will defiantly cause death.

In the case of Nara Singh Challan v. State of Orissa (1997), Section 299 of IPC was found to be a genus and section 300 of IPC was found to be a species. Therefore, there is no separate section on culpable homicide not amount to murder, but it is part of Section 300 of the IPC that defines murder.

In it, the court stated:
"In order to determine the appropriate punishment for the current crime, the IPC divided the culpable homicide into three grades. First is the gravest form which is Murder it is defined under section 300 of IPC, the second is the culpable homicide of the second degree which is punishable under Section 304 part 1 of IPC and Third is the lowest degree of culpable homicide which is punishable under Section 304 part 2 of IPC."

As Sir James Stephen pointed out, the end result of both culpable homicide and murders is death, so it is very difficult to distinguish between them. However, although it is a small difference, there is a very subtle difference between the intent and knowledge associated with both crimes. The real difference lies in the extent of the facts; there is a huge difference in intent and knowledge between the two crimes.

In the case of Reg. v. Govinda made a clear distinction between the culpable homicide and the murder. According to the facts of the case, there was a quarrel between the husband and wife, and husband knocked his wife. Woman fainted and her husband closed his palm and hit her to awaken her, but unfortunately woman died of internal bleeding in her brain. In it, Melvil, J, found that men were liable under Section 299 of the IPC because there was clearly not intended to cause death and the act was not serious enough to cause death on the spot.

Suggestions And Conclusion
The concepts of both murder and culpable homicide look similar in a sense, but differ in terms of the potential for death and gravity. If the act committed by the perpetrator is a heinous crime or a very dangerous act that can be fatal, it fits the concept of murder. If in an act by the perpetrator the victim could survive with serious injury and escape death, is said to be culpable homicide not amount to murder.

Women and children are increasingly threatened by crimes such as rape and murder. According to the latest reports, these crime rates are increasing day by day. To resolve this, the law should consider giving the deterrent theory and penalties described therein. Therefore, the crime rate can be reduced by this theory. The more penalties, the less crime. Murder is a crime that is punished as a death penalty using deterrent theory.

Websites Referred:
  5. Dr.Lakshmi T and Rajeshkumar S "In Vitro Evaluation of Anticariogenic Activity of Acacia Catechu against Selected Microbes", International Research Journal of Multidisciplinary Science & Technology, Volume No. 3 , Issue No. 3, P.No 20-25, March 2018.
  1. Milmadhub Sirchar VS. R (1885)
  2. Visra Singh vs. Punjab State (1958)
  3. Bhagwan Singh v. State of Uttarakhand (2007)
  4. Nara Singh Challan v. State of Orissa (1997)
  5. Reg. v. Govinda 1876 ILR Bom 342

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